Avalanche Advisory: Sunday - Mar 17, 2019

THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON March 18, 2019 @ 6:37 am
Avalanche Advisory published on March 17, 2019 @ 6:37 am
Issued by Chris Engelhardt - Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center

The avalanche danger will increase to MODERATE throughout the day at Middle-Low elevations related to warming on solar aspects. LOW avalanche danger resides at Upper elevations. Loose wet avalanches on southerly aspects will be your primary concern in the mountains today.

1. Low

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Above Treeline
Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.

2. Moderate

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Near Treeline
Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.

2. Moderate

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Below Treeline
Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
    Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
Avalanche Problem 1: Loose Wet
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Intense sun and warm temperatures will contribute to loosening of snow on solar E-S-W aspects. Be particularly aware of SOUTHERLY aspects mid to late afternoon in confined terrain such as couloirs or other constricted features that have larger starting zones or feeding slopes above that may get dramatically heated throughout the day. Resulting avalanches may be small, but could entrain a significant amount of heavy saturated snow as they make their way down the mountain. We are in the transitional time of the year where most snowfields are still in a wintery state and are adjusting and changing with the increased day light and warming temperatures. A good thing is that we have been having clear nights with good radiational cooling and hard freezing temperatures to help lock up the snowpack overnight, but be on the lookout for areas of unsupportable snow, pinwheeling or active shedding of snow surfaces.

Avalanche Problem 2: Wind Slab
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If venturing into the higher alpine terrain, pay attention for drummy or hollow sounding pieces of snow and an upside down feeling snowpack, such as hard, denser snow existing on top of softer, less cohesive snow. Old residual wind slabs may be lurking on EVERY ASPECT and terrain features up high. Areas such as unsupported slopes, convex rolls and heavily loaded areas beneath cliff bands and shelves may harbor panels of dangerous snow. Continue to analyze and re-evaluate conditions as you progress upwards.

 

Avalanche Problem 3: Cornice
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Avoid CORNICES particularly on EASTERLY aspects. Give these curling wavelike features a wide berth and make sure you are well on terra firma on the windward side of ridges. Intense solar and warm temperatures could contribute to destabilization of these hanging features. Cornice fall not only is hazardous if it gives way beneath you, but can affect travelers on slopes below. Cornice fall can be the big trigger that starts avalanches on slopes below as the falling blocks can be of tremendous weight and scale.

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

Sunny skies, light winds and warm temperatures are on tap for today. Clear and calm conditions are expected for the next few days. Temperatures will be well above freezing during daylight hours for most of the forecast area through the day on Tuesday before temperatures cool slightly and a chance of precipitation starts Tuesday night.

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 8,000 ft. to 10,000 ft.
Sunday Sunday Night Monday
Weather: Sunny. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 0%. Clear then becoming partly cloudy. Snow levels 7000 feet decreasing to below 7000 feet after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 0%. Sunny. Snow levels below 7000 feet increasing to 7000 feet in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 0%.
Temperatures: 41 to 49. deg. F. 19 to 24. deg. F. 42 to 50. deg. F.
Mid Slope Winds: Light winds. Light winds. Light winds.
Expected snowfall: No accumulation. | SWE = none. in. No accumulation. | SWE = none. in. No accumulation. | SWE = none. in.
Over 10,000 ft.
Sunday Sunday Night Monday
Weather: Sunny. Snow levels below 7000 feet increasing to 7000 feet in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 0%. Clear then becoming partly cloudy. Snow levels 7000 feet decreasing to below 7000 feet after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 0%. Sunny. Snow levels below 7000 feet increasing to 7000 feet in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 0%.
Temperatures: 34 to 40. deg. F. 16 to 21. deg. F. 34 to 40. deg. F.
Ridge Top Winds: Light winds. Light winds. Light winds becoming south around 15 mph in the afternoon.
Expected snowfall: No accumulation. | SWE = none. in. No accumulation. | SWE = none. in. No accumulation. | SWE = none. in.
Disclaimer
This Avalanche Advisory is designed to generally describe avalanche conditions where local variations always occur. This product only applies to backcountry areas located outside established ski area boundaries. The information in this Avalanche Advisory is provided by the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center, who is solely responsible for its content.

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